Dennis O’Neil: Guilty, Guilty, Guilty!
Well, I guess I was wrong and I guess I’ll take whatever heat there is, unless I can think of somebody else to blame. We refer to last week’s column in which I predicted that the CW televised enterprises, Flash and Arrow, were about to commit Crossover: that is, begin a story in one show and end it in the other. I jumped to a conclusion. What the programs in question really committed was Guest Star; each hero appeared in the other’s venue but the problems to be solved and the adventures to be had and the bad guys to be vanquished were unrelated.
And while we’re on the subject of bad guys… unless I suffered a fairly significant mental glitch somewhere between eight and nine last Tuesday, the Flash and company perpetrated a melodramatist’s sin by catching the villain off-stage and thus depriving we eager onlookers of what would naturally be the story’s (exciting) climax. We hear that the evil dude is at large and then there’s a brief scene in which he’s behind bars and then on to other concerns. I’ve been guilty of giving the antagonist short shrift in a story or two, mainly because I was more interested in other elements of the narrative so, being guilty of the same sin myself, I am throwing no stones. But this sort of thing is questionable technique and maybe we should all avoid it in the future.
Okay, that’s a quibble and on the bright side, the Flash-Arrow guest stunt put Emily Bett Rickards, who plays Arrow’s the charming and comely Felicity Smoak, on my screen twice in one week and that buys forgiveness (and yes, dammit, I know she’s young enough to be my great-grandchild.)
(Regarding Felicity: If she were canonized, would she be holy Smoak? Something for the show’s writers to consider and then immediately forget about.)
Word is that last night’s “winter finale” Arrow episode will feature a Batman baddie and if true this won’t be the first time Arrow’s people have rummaged in the DC Comics line. Are they trying to build a video franchise, as the company’s long-time arch rival, Marvel, is doing successfully in the world of movies? Motivate us watchers to tune into a DC show and not just another adventure of a super guy? That would be a tricky accomplishment, I think, and they’re probably not attempting it. No, they’re probably doing what the rest of us are doing, using what’s available to them and hoping that it works. Making it up as they go along. Okay by me. That’s what we and our various ancestors have been doing for about five million years and counting and, what the hey, it’s gotten us this far.